Set a goal, then keep it quiet!

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Time and time again I am reminded of how important setting goals are in training… and how even MORE important it is to keep those goals QUIET!!!!  Goals are personal… and only YOU can determine #1: what is a reasonable goal for you  #2: what goal is going to motivate you to train harder #3: what goal is going to get you to the finish line on race day. 

More on this post later… but I just finished an awesome training run and didn’t want to forget a lesson “re-learned” today…  Set a goal and keep it quiet. 

In fact: there is actually research to support this stretching back to the 1920’s.  (However, at the moment I am indulging in the ritual of cooking corned beef and cabbage in a nice stout on St. Patrick’s Day… so I will edit this post later tonight to fill you in on the details.) 


Ok, here is the “TED TALK” about the research behind keeping your goals quiet:


I am interested in his point about the mind being ‘tricked’ into a feeling of completion, or a certain level of accomplishment, after merely telling someone about your goal.  I have always thought that telling others, like blogging about it, would then keep one more honest about going forward and working on it.  (I suppose that’s assuming the people you tell will then be interested enough to ask you a few weeks later, “hey, how’s that training going?”  Not wanting to tell them how lazy you’ve been, perhaps that would motivate you into action. 

However, all that aside, my personal reasons for keeping goals quiet are simple.  I want to avoid the inevitable criticism and/or cynicism by other people who have no earthly idea what I am made of, yet they can’t seem to keep their pessimistic mouth shut!   Am I ranting?  Well… let me explain.  For as far back as I can remember I have always “dreamed big”.   Although this may seem like a good quality (and it is, to be sure) it does have a side effect:  A lifetime of experience watching human behavior react to my goals and dreams and ideas.

As one commentator wrote: “Keeping goals to yourself also helps you avoid criticism. If you’re the type of person that holds other people’s opinions of you in high regard, then a critical thought can be a deadly blow. Most entrepreneurs know how tough it can be to fight such criticism.”

This is a true statement, and I can personally relate. 

This is why I will get up on my soap box one more time and say: “Only YOU can determine your goals, because only you know what you’ve got inside.  You know what you’re made of, and what motivates you, and what is going to get you to the next level.  Don’t ever, for a minute, consider somebody else’s notion of how big that fire is inside you!” 

Keep it quiet, and go forth and conquer!



  1. That video really changed something for me. It confirmed what I had intuitively believed but had sabotaged repeatedly. Like you, I thought that if I told my goals, I would be held more accountable to them (writing my first novel was a big one), yet I always felt unsettled and off-balance when I did. A critical thought can be so detrimental to an idea that’s just beginning to take form.

    Now, when people press me as to what my goals are (there are only a couple who do that), I give decoy answers. They felt like they’ve engaged, and I’ve kept my true goals secret.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s